Alex Kerns / Mikey Erg - Split [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Alex Kerns / Mikey Erg

Split [7-inch] (2012)

Asian Man Records

Alex Kerns (Lemuria) and Mikey Erg (ex-the Ergs, plus like 30 other bands) have a history of stellar collaborations, both live and on record. Their latest joint effort, a seven-inch split for Asian Man Records, continues to highlight what the two songwriters do best. Boasting two tracks from each artist, it's a catchy little collection that highlight the musicians' strengths.

Kerns goes first with two originals. "Responsibility of the Doll" has a lengthy intro, but otherwise both tracks are very much in the vein of the somewhat angular indie rock that Lemuria showcased on last year's Pebbles. The downside to this is that while Kerns remains the primary lyricist in Lemuria, it was Sheena Ozzella who made Lemuria's songs sparkle vocally. Kerns has a much deeper, monotone voice, and while it gives the tracks a slight droning post-punk edge, it's hard not to think of how Ozzella would have lead the material, or at least complemented it. Still, both tracks are nice, chilled out arrangements.

Erg livens things up considerably with two pop-punk cuts. Contrary to what the tracklisting says, Erg leads with a cover of Down By Law's "Flower Tattoo." It's a pretty straightforward rendition, but c'mon, it's Erg in his element. Dude rocks what was already a thoroughly catchy song. Original "Song Against Ian Raymond" plays like a sad sequel to "Flower Tattoo." If one is about having a crush, the other is definitely about having that crush unfulfilled. Fortunately for the listener, Erg was always really good at writing catchy, fun songs about having your heart ripped out.